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Adenosine deaminase and purine nucleoside phosphorylase deficiencies: evaluation of therapeutic interventions in eight patients.

The courses of six patients with adenosine deaminase (ADA) and two with purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) deficiencies were evaluated before and after therapy. The heterogeneity of immunologic and clinical parameters was striking in each enzyme deficiency. In both PNP and ADA deficiency, some patients had very low immunoglobulin levels, while others had normal levels. T-cell function was always low in patients with ADA deficiency. In the two patients with PNP deficiency, contrary to the classical descriptions of this disorder, T-cell function fluctuated with time. Five ADA-deficient patients were treated with irradiated normal red-cell transfusions as a form of enzyme replacement and showed no lasting benefit. Three of the ADA-deficient patients and one of the PNP-deficient patients were given transplants of haploidentical parental bone marrow stem cells without pretransplant immunosuppression. In the PNP-deficient patient, chimerism has not been documented on enzymatic testing. One ADA-deficient patient has demonstrated long-term engraftment with good B- and T-cell function. Haploidentical bone marrow transplantation is currently the preferred therapy for enzyme-deficient patients with absent T-cell function who do not have an HLA-identical donor, as it may result in a lasting reconstitution of immune function. In those patients with unsatisfactory responses to transplantation, however, specific enzyme replacement or gene therapy may be considered in the future.

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